` Making Connections: My role as a University Welfare Officer Julia Coats Welfare Officer (International) firstname.lastname@example.org
Job title: Welfare Officer (International) What does that actually mean?
Primary role as a Welfare Officer but I specialise in areas relating to International Students
I work within the Student Welfare Service which falls under the UoL Student Support and Development Service (SSDS) SSDS is one of 7 divisions within the University of Leicester’s Corporate Services
Welfare Officer (International) : Where does my role fit in the University structure? UoL Corporate Services Academic and Research Services Estates Office IT Services Finance and Business Development Human Resources Marketing and Communications Student Support and Development Service (SSDS) Student Development AccessAbility Centre Health and Wellbeing Services STUDENT WELFARE SERVICE
Student Welfare Service (SWS) The Student Welfare Service provides these services for all students: Practical and personal support Response to emergency situations Financial advice and information Pastoral care for students living in University accommodation Community Liaison Health Promotion Referral for free legal advice
Student Welfare Service (SWS) In addition the Student Welfare Service offers the following support for International Students: Immigration advice and visa renewal service Cultural adjustment Orientation programmes and hospitality schemes Family related information and advice Guidance on returning home Advocacy in some legal cases
Student Welfare Service (SWS) Advice is provided by trained and qualified Welfare Officers Each Welfare Officer also has the responsibility of: * Responding to critical incidents and emergencies * Being ‘on-call’ during the evenings and over the weekend * Usually being the first point of contact for most departments if a student needs help or if departmental staff have a specific query
Welfare Officer (International) : Where does my role fit in the Student Welfare Service? Student Welfare Service Head of Department Senior Welfare Officer Welfare Officer (Finance) x 2 Welfare Officer (International) x 3 Welfare Officer (Accommodation) x 1 Hardship Fund Administrator Part-time Accommodation Assistant 25 Student Assistants Visa Renewal officer International Administrator TULIP Intern
Journey from Medical Genetics to Welfare Officer..
Began as a student… 2003-2004 President of the MedBioGen Society Treasurer of the Mixed Hockey Club 2004-2005 Elected Medicine and Biological Science Faculty Representative Club Captain of the Mixed Hockey Club ULSU Sports Executive Nightline Volunteer
Continued as a Graduate.. 2005-2006 Student’s Union VicePresidentWelfare 2006- 2007 Students’ Union Vice President Welfare (re-elect)
Campaigned on student issues Lights, Camera Action! Following a number of attacks on students I launched a campaign in 2005 for more lighting and CCTV coverage on Victoria Park...in March 2008 the City Council agreed to support the campaign and spent £50,000 on new lights and cameras! The campaign has even made it’s way on to Wikipedia!
Campaigned on student issues Worked with Mental Health advisers promoting mental health wellbeing Ran Healthy Living campaigns Worked with Leicestershire Aids Support Services (LASS) and NHS Chlamydia Screening Team promoting sexual health awareness
Campaigned on student issues Worked towards Fairtrade status for the University and the SU Worked with City Council, introduction of Accreditation schemes for student houses
Career in Welfare continued.. …after Sabbatical Senior Student Assistant within Student Welfare Service. Assisted with organising the International Students’ Welcome Programme for over 1500 new international students …After Senior Student Assistant applied for Welfare Officer vacancy 2008.
Qualifications Degree essential plus at least 2 years experience of working in a similar role (International Students in Higher in Education) Further qualifications: University of Nottingham School of Education: Certificate for International Education Professionals (CIEP) Can take up to 3 years, I completed in 1.5 years
Open College Network ‘Mediation in the workplace’ certificate Qualified mediator
Skills needed Interpersonal skills/ability to empathise Ability to work independently and as part of a team Good communicator Good organisational skills Prioritise heavy workloads Work flexibility important (long days!)
Good days Job satisfaction Very rewarding role Meet new people almost every day No two days are the same Occasional study visits.. Singapore and Taiwan in January 2011 Expect the unexpected!
Bad days Some very long days Heavy caseload Some distressing cases Keeping up with legislation changes!
Still interested? Tips: Work in an area that you are genuinely interested in Gain work experience (unpaid and paid experience) Talk to people in a similar role – ways in (feel free to contact the SWS and speak to any of the officers) Useful websites for job vacancies: Institutional job vacancy pages (Colleges, Universities, private education providers) www.prospects.ac.uk www.jobs.guardian.co.uk (Education) www.britishcouncil.org
Thank you You can ask me questions now or in the tea break